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St. Petersburg still mulls plastic bag ban. But it’s in no hurry.

January 26, 2018

Tampa Bay Times,

Divya Kumar,

January 25, 2018-

The proposed ban on single-use plastic bags is still on the table for City Council. But the city isn’t ready to act just yet. Officials are still surveying the public and businesses to find out what they think and are also waiting to learn the fate of an existing ban in Coral Gables. “For it to work, it really needs to have buy-in,” City Council member Darden Rice said. In 2008 the Florida Legislature pre-empted local attempts to ban the bags by prohibiting local governments from banning them.

In May, the City of Coral Gables tested the waters by approving a ban on plastic bags and fining retailers $50 to $500 who violate the ban. The measure is being challenged by the Florida Retail Federation and a Coral Gables business in the 3rd District Court of Appeal on the grounds of pre-emption, that the state already banned what the city did in 2008. St. Petersburg assistant city attorney Michael Dema told the council members meeting Thursday as the health, energy, resiliency and sustainability committee that they expect a decision in the Coral Gables case to be made in the next few months.

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